from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who writes, especially as an occupation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who writes, or produces literary work.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who writes, or has written; a scribe; a clerk.
  • n. One who is engaged in literary composition as a profession; an author.
  • n. A clerk of a certain rank in the service of the late East India Company, who, after serving a certain number of years, became a factor.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A person who understands or practises the art of writing; one who is able to write; a penman.
  • n. One who does writing as a business; a professional scribe, scrivener, or amanuensis: used specifically in England of clerks to the former East India Company, and of temporary copying clerks in government offices; in Scotland, loosely, of law agents, solicitors, attorneys, etc., and sometimes of their principal clerks.
  • n. A person who writes what he composes in his mind; the author of a written paper or of writings; an author in general; a literary producer of any kind: as, the writer of a letter; a writer of history or of fiction.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person who is able to write and has written something
  • n. writes (books or stories or articles or the like) professionally (for pay)


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English



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  • "Printing facilitated the preservation of records at the same time that it lured countless men and women to take up the challenge of writing about what they knew, observed, and experienced. It even allowed some erudite authors, like Erasmus, to earn enough from their publications to free themselves from patrons. The professional writer had arrived."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 74

    December 28, 2016

  • "For both Columbus and Magellan writers played a critical role in sustaining their rightful place in history."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 66

    December 28, 2016

  • Knowing that a number of Wordizens make their living as editors of one sort or another, I thought you would enjoy this delightful quote from copy-editor John E. McIntyre's blog:

    The writer: To an editor (well, to some editors), the writer is an annoying inconvenience that nevertheless makes editing possible — the chicken that must be plucked, cleaned, and butchered before it can be turned into a delightful coq au vin. But you do have some obligation to make the text resemble the work of the author, perhaps dusted off and perfumed a little, but still recognizably the author more than you. The text should be not what you would have written, but what the author would have written had he been a better writer.

    June 19, 2009